经济学人官方译文 | 你该买股票还是债券?

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梧桐
Are you a stock or a bond?
你该买股票还是债券?
Why the ideal portfolio depends on the business you are in
为什么理想的投资组合取决于你在什么行业

IMAGINE two college friends whose careers have taken different paths. Simon is an investment banker. He works long hours, especially when his bank is advising on a big merger. His pastimes include potholing and skydiving. Chris works as a senior civil servant. Early each evening the lights in his office dim to remind his colleagues of the importance of work-life balance. His spare time is spent on long country walks, playing golf and going to the theatre.
想象一下两名大学里的友人后来走上了不同的职业道路。西蒙是一位投资银行家。他的工作时间很长,尤其是当他任职的银行为一桩大规模合并交易提供咨询时。他的消遣包括洞穴探险和跳伞。克里斯是一名高级公务员。每天傍晚他办公室的灯光早早就暗了,提醒他的同事们保持工作与生活平衡的重要性。他的业余时间花在乡间远足、打高尔夫球和看演出上。

How should they invest their money? More specifically, how much of their savings should go to bonds and how much to shares? Textbook theory says it depends on how tolerant Simon and Chris are towards risk. If either can bear the sometimes violent ups-and-downs of stockmarkets, he should hold more shares, which have higher rewards to go with the extra risk. Should such price swings keep him awake at night with worry, he should tilt the mix of his investments towards safer government bonds.
他们该如何投资自己的钱?说得再具体一点,他们的积蓄有多少该投资债券,有多少该投资股票?教科书上的理论说,这取决于西蒙和克里斯对风险的承受能力。谁能承受股市时不时的剧烈涨跌,谁就应该持有更多股票。因为股票风险更大,回报也更高。这种价格波动让谁忧心忡忡、夜不能寐,谁就应该将投资组合转向更安全的政府债券。

A risk-lover such as Simon is happy to own mostly shares. If you think skydiving is fun, you probably will not lose sleep if the value of your portfolio goes down from time to time. By the same logic Chris, who prefers a quiet life, is content to hold a bigger slug of bonds than Simon. Yet on a broader reckoning, both friends would be better advised to go against their inclinations. Simon, the banker, should buy mostly bonds. Chris, the bureaucrat, should buy mostly stocks.
像西蒙这样喜欢冒险的人乐于把大部分投资都放在股票上。如果你认为跳伞很有趣,那么当你的投资组合时有贬值时,你可能不会失眠。按照同样的逻辑,喜欢平静生活的克里斯会对持有比西蒙更高比例的债券感到满意。但是,如若考虑得更周全一些,这两位朋友最好还是按和自己的意愿相反的方向行事。银行家西蒙应该主要购买债券,政府官员克里斯应主要买股票。

If that seems paradoxical, consider the nature of each friend’s line of work. Simon’s professional fortunes are tied to the stockmarket. When share prices are booming, the general appetite for business risk is high. Investment projects are approved. Deals are done. The demand for the services of investment banks is strong. Simon’s bank makes pots of money and his bonus surges. His fortunes are changeable, though. When the stockmarket is down, the bank’s profits plunge. So his returns are high, but also volatile—like a stock. To hedge against the stock-like returns of his occupation, Simon should own bonds. In contrast, Chris enjoys a bond-like career. His salary is lower but steadier. His job is not at risk in downturns. So he can afford to take bigger risks with his investments. He should own stocks.
如果这看起来很矛盾,想一想他们各自的工作性质吧。西蒙的职业运势与股市息息相关。当股价上涨时,人们普遍偏好高商业风险。他们批准投资项目,敲定交易。对投资银行服务的需求强劲。西蒙的银行赚得盆满钵满,他自己赚得的奖金也飙升。但是他的财运也有变数。当股市下跌,银行的利润也会暴跌。所以他的回报虽然很高,但也像股票一样波动很大。为了对冲如股票般的工作回报,西蒙应该持有债券。相比之下,克里斯的工作就像债券。他的工资不高,但比较稳定。他的工作在经济衰退中没有风险。所以他承担得起更大的投资风险。他应该持有股票。

Your job is your down-payment
你的工作就是你的首付款

This is not to say that preferences about risk do not matter to investment choices. They do. It is that wealth should be looked at in the round. A proper reckoning would include not only financial assets but human capital—a person’s knowledge, skills and talents. This has a big influence on earnings over a working life. Young people, with few savings and decades of employment ahead, have most of their lifetime wealth embedded in their human capital. It has a payoff, just like a stock or a bond. It makes sense to take account of that when deciding what to hold as financial wealth.
这并不是说投资选择就与风险偏好无关。它们的确有关。但应该全面地看待一个人的财富。正确的计算不仅要包括金融资产,还要包括人力资本,即一个人的知识、技能和天分。后者对一个人职业生涯的收入有很大的影响。年轻人几乎没有积蓄,但后头有几十年的时间去工作,他们一生中的大部分财富都蕴藏在人力资本中。和股票或债券一样,人力资本也有回报。在决定持有哪种金融财富时,应该把这一点计入考虑。

This way of thinking comes more naturally to people who work in finance. There are fund managers with most of their professional portfolio in stocks but all of their personal wealth in three-month bills. If the bets on stocks turn bad, they might find themselves out of a job. They do not want to put all their personal savings at risk as well.
这种思维方式对金融行业的人来说更是自然而然。基金经理在工作中的投资组合的大部分都是股票,但有些人把自己的钱全都拿去买了90天期票据。如果他们选的股票赔了,可能会丢了工作,所以不想把所有个人积蓄也都置于危险之中。

But most people do not think like this. The available evidence suggests that households do not attempt to hedge their employment income. In fact, they typically “anti-hedge”, by holding a disproportionate fraction of their savings in the shares of their employer or of companies in the same industry or locality.
可是大多数人不这么想。现有证据表明,人们并没有尝试对冲自己在工作收入方面的风险。事实上,他们通常都是在“反对冲”,将过多的积蓄投资于自己公司的股票,或是同一行业或地区的公司的股票。

A paper, published in 2003, by James Poterba of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology discovered that an average of more than 40% of the value of the 20 largest company-pension plans in America was invested in the firm’s own shares. The dangers of such a strategy had recently become apparent. When Enron failed, its employees had over 60% of their retirement savings in company stock. Another study based on Swedish data by Massimo Massa, of INSEAD, and Andrei Simonov, now of Michigan State University, also found that households tend to invest in stocks that are closely related to their employment income.
麻省理工学院的詹姆斯·波特巴(James Poterba)在2003年发表的一篇论文中指出,全美最大的20个企业养老金计划平均将40%以上的资金投资了自家公司的股票。近年,这种策略的风险得以彰显。安然倒闭时,其雇员退休储蓄的60%以上都投在公司股票里。欧洲工商管理学院(INSEAD)的马西莫·马萨(Massimo Massa)和目前在密歇根州立大学任职的安德烈·西蒙诺夫(Andrei Simonov)基于瑞典数据的另一项研究也发现,人们倾向于投资与自己的工作收入密切相关的股票。

People stick to what they know for understandable reasons. Investment can seem like an aggressive sport, the preserve of bulls and bears or Wall Street wolves. Yet it would be more helpful to think of investment as self-insurance. People save and invest to protect themselves from contingencies. The best way to guard against some sorts of risks is often to embrace a different kind. The kind of insurance you will need ultimately depends on who you are.
人们执着于自己所了解的东西,这可以理解。投资看起来好像是一项攻击性很强的运动,是牛、熊或华尔街之狼的领地。不过,把投资看做一种自我保险会更有益处。人们存钱和投资是为了保护自己不受意外事故的影响。防范某些风险的最好方法通常是积极接受另一种不同的风险。你需要什么样的保险最终取决于你是谁。